OK, Jesus Loved the Little Children. Now Stop Sacrificing Them To Him.

Maybe you recall this perfectly maddening case (if you do, skip ahead for a good-news update):

[A]n 11-year-old girl named Madeline Kara Neumann [photo], known as Kara to family and friends… died of undiagnosed diabetes on Easter Sunday in March 2008 at her home in Weston, a central Wisconsin village about 140 miles north of Madison.

Kara, who had been growing weak for several weeks leading up to her death, eventually became too sick to speak, eat, drink or walk. Her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, don’t belong to any organized religion or church but identify themselves as Pentecostal Christians and believe visiting a doctor is akin to worshipping an idol. …

Dale Neumann testified that the possibility of death never entered their minds. After the girl died, Leilani Neumann told police God would raise Kara from the dead.

For some reason, that didn’t happen.

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Does It Matter That the Atheist Bench in Florida Looks Kinda Ugly?

This is the atheist bench that was recently installed in front of Florida’s Bradford County Courthouse, in response to a Ten Commandments monument on the city-owned property:

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: It’s not all that pleasing to the eye. It’s asymmetrical. It looks like someone just slapped a bunch of random quotations on any available space. Your head has to be damn near the ground to read some of the words on it.

As far as design goes, it could be a lot, lot better.

In fact, Gordon Haber at Religion Dispatches calls it “proof of unintelligent design”:

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Ohio School Board That Tried to Push Revisionist Christian History Cancels Course

Well, that was quick.

The Springboro School District in Ohio had tried to institute a 12-week summer course on the Constitution that would feature video lessons from Christian pseudo-historian David Barton:

But after complaints from parents in the district, groups like FFRF, and everyone who knows something about history, the school board members have changed their minds:

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More Witches Have Been Executed Since World War II Than in Centuries Past

Most people probably think of witch burnings as a terrible fever (or fervor) that died out sometime soon after the glory days of Salem’s infamous witch hunter Cotton Mather.

But an Agence France-Presse story today, commemorating the almost one hundred 17th-century executions of accused witches at Norway’s arctic “Gates of Hell,” points out that witch killings never ceased. In fact:

Some 50,000 people are believed to have paid with their lives in Europe during the medieval witch trials. But by comparison, the number of people killed for the same reason worldwide since World War II is estimated at between 70,000 and 80,000.

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Evangelism Through Debate: A Profile of Christian Apologist William Lane Craig

You know, if I were going to write a profile of a Christian apologist, I probably wouldn’t bring it up in front of Richard Dawkins… but that’s what Nathan Schneider did:

When, during a conversation in a swank hotel lobby in Manhattan, I mentioned to Richard Dawkins that I was working on a story about William Lane Craig, the muscles in his face clenched.

“Why are you publicizing him?” Dawkins demanded, twice. The best-selling “New Atheist” professor went on to assure me that I shouldn’t bother, that he’d met Craig in Mexico — they opposed each other in a prime-time, three-on-three debate staged in a boxing ring—and found him “very unimpressive.”

“I mean, whose side are you on?” Dawkins said. “Are you religious?”

That’s quintessential Dawkins for you right there :)

It’s actually a very interesting article about Craig, if for no other reason than it explains his usual debate game plan, which amounts to little more than a Gish Gallop:

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